The Canadian Youth Business Foundation has selected 20 dynamic young Canadian entrepreneurs to form the official Canadian delegation at 2012 G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit (G20 YES) in Mexico City, Mexico on June 3 -5, 2012. The G20 YES is an annual international summit that brings together dedicated and influential entrepreneurs of the G20 countries. Lisa Von Sturmer is a Canadian delegate.
First name / last name: Lisa von Sturmer
My motto: “If I can dream it, I can do it and I won’t stop until it’s done.”
Name: Growing City (Growing City UrbanEco Enterprises Ltd.)
Activity: Urban recycling services
Number of employees: 3
Headquarters’ Address: 903-1498 Harwood St., Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA,
My life as an entrepreneur
The Trigger: Why did you become an entrepreneur:
During my 2 year stint working as an editor and producer for an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) show, I realized that while I enjoyed travelling around the world watching fights and casting ring girls, something was missing: I wanted to make a positive impact on my community. After a bump with “the glass ceiling”, I realized that my dreams would only be fulfilled if I took a chance and started my own company. I spent several more years in the film / television / gaming industry before the plan for Growing City fully came together – but when it finally did, I quit my career and have never looked back!
Now, I am a champion for composting, waste reduction and urban agriculture – my efforts to make composting mainstream have helped Growing City to divert roughly 190 metric tonnes of waste, or 485 metric tonnes of CO2e from local offices in the past 2 years.
My best moment as an entrepreneur, my success:
In addition to running Growing City, I am passionate about volunteering and fundraising. In 2010 I co-founded Pinups for Pink, a breast cancer research charity that has raised $60,000 since October of that year.
I have been nominated for:
a 2012 & 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction award
a 2011 Profit Magazine FUEL Top 20 Under 30 Canadian Entrepreneurs award
a 2011 Notables.ca Notable Entrepreneur award
a 2012 & 2011 RBC Women Entrepreneur Award
a 2011 CYBF Chairman’s Award
and won the 2010 Small Business BC Business Concept Award.
And, of course, I am honoured to be part of the Canadian delegation at the G20 YES, for the second year.
My next challenge:
Part of our plans for the next year is focusing on increasing our top line. We will be opening two more local routes and will then start the process of opening a Toronto location. After the successful launch of the Toronto operation, we will then proceed with our franchising objectives. We’ve had several serious offers to purchase franchises over the past year (for both Canadian and US territories). By introducing franchises, we’d like to see our revenues hit $1 M plus by 2014 or sooner. This would enable us to expand our territory in a much quicker time frame. Our main objective beyond opening the Toronto location is to start selling franchises. We’ve hired a consultant to help us structure the company with that aim in mind. We’ve become a very scalable model and are continually streamlining our operations. I envision Growing City being the main supplier for corporate composting needs across Canada. I’d like our brand to be the first name people think of when they think of composting and waste reduction.